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Trainer-Budget and Noise Issues

Old 08-17-12, 12:13 PM
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Guitarfool5931
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Trainer-Budget and Noise Issues

Hi everyone. So I have started looking for a trainer to keep in shape for the winter here in Chicago. It's already started to get a little cold in the mornings and night. I do still plan to ride in the cold but rain and snow might put a dampener on things. Also sometimes you just don't feel like going out. So I am looking for something that is under $200 and would not cause too much racket as I live in an apartment building and have downstairs neighbors. I've been doing a little bit of research and have at least found out that a Fluid trainer might be the best bet. Has anyone found one that's been kind of a surprise as far as quality and value? I would appreciate any input. Thanks!
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Old 08-18-12, 10:12 PM
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Try Craigslist; reduce noise with trainer tire & acoustic isolation/damping

One thing to try is keep watching and also posting a "Wanted" on Chicago's Craigslist for any of the Kurt Kinetic fluid resistance or any 1Up trainers. They have the reputation for both being quiet and durable; you might get lucky and find one for under $200.

Minimizing noise is not just what trainer you buy. Other steps include:
  1. Use a dedicated, smooth, hard rubber trainer tire such as Continental's HomeTrainer tire or Tacx's Trainer Tyre. These are not recommended for use off the trainer (I think they do not grip well on pavement) so unless you really like changing tires, you will want to get a low-cost, heavy, rear wheel dedicated for trainer use or dedicate one bike for use only on the trainer during the off-season. I have the older version of the Continental (yellow/orange rubber) and it qualifies as the most difficult to mount tire I have ever had but they last forever and do not generate black rubber debris on the trainer.
  2. Acoustically isolate the trainer from the floor by placing the trainer on some plywood with foam rubber or an inflated inner tube between the plywood and the floor.
  3. Surround the rear wheel with some sound-absorbing material such as carpet remnants or the interlocking dense foam floor mats or such. This also keep small children or pets from getting seriously injured by the spokes.
Get a video screen or reading stand or video game or something to watch or a heart rate monitor and a training schedule because trainers can get very boring very fast. Rollers, on the other hand, keep you more alert (Link1, Link2).

Last edited by Giro; 08-18-12 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 08-21-12, 09:18 AM
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+1 on watching CL, also watch nearby areas and thrift shops.
+1 on padding or insulating between the trainer and the floor.

Also try different places inside your place to use the trainer. In one apartment I had if I put a trainer or rollers anywhere in the living room it sounded like I was riding on a huge bass drum to the point that even my upstairs neighbor could hear it, but in a bedroom next to a bathroom wall it was dead silent.

And try to synchronize your training sessions for times that your neighbor will be away or doing something else or otherwise is distracted which will reduce their awareness to any sounds coming from your place. Sometimes you can talk with them (but with some neighbors that is not recommended), or invite them to "train" with you and start a building spin session group.

I picked up a free set of rollers one day on my way home sitting next to someone's trash on trash day, just needs a belt, non-folder but who cares. Another set of rollers I have was found on Craigslist and came with a repair stand for less than what a used trainer would cost up here. Then I found a mag-trainer at a thrift shop for cheap so I'm all set for the winter. Just keep your eyes and ears open.
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Old 08-21-12, 02:05 PM
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I was thinking of getting rollers but after reading all the reviews on their noise levels I decided against it. The plywood with foam is a great idea. I will definitely give that a try. I ended up going with the Travel Trac Comp Fluid Trainer from Performance for now. I will let you know how it goes. I do plan on putting either my phone with Netflix or something that will entertain me. Also, I'll most likely end up putting the trainer in my bedroom next to the exterior wall as it will probably be the least disturbing for them. I will also put a note on their asking that they feel free to call me if the noise seems to loud for them. Wish me luck and thanks for the advice!
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Old 08-21-12, 02:35 PM
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were you to fabricate a platform with vibration isolation feet,
between the platform and the floor, that would resolve
some of the noise transmission to the flooring and joists..


good vibration isolators hang in tension, rather than in compression..

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-23-12 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 08-21-12, 03:05 PM
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Yes, I will have to see if I can find some rubber feet to put between the floor and the plywood sandwiched with the foam mat.
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Old 08-21-12, 03:49 PM
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What's a "trainer"? Some kind of cycling coach?
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Old 08-21-12, 03:57 PM
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I put a yoga mat under my magnetic trainer and the noise isn't too bad. There were a lot of magnetic trainers advertised for $10 under the cost of a new one when I looked, make sure you look around.
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Old 08-22-12, 09:18 AM
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Studded tires work great in the winter.Outside, HTFU, YRMV . Fresh air is good for you.
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